ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital is over 100% capacity in the ICU and the majority of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, according to the medical director. Now Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson is urging residents in Southern Utah to get vaccinated after paying the hospital a visit this afternoon.
“What we saw today was powerful, was heartbreaking, and entirely preventable,” Henderson says. “We have a hospital full of COVID patients who don’t need to be there, we have hospital staff who are working extra shifts, who are working overtime, working extra patients, having extra patients in their care and that doesn’t need to happen.”
The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Patrick Carroll, says staff is struggling to keep up with ill patients with the majority of them being unvaccinated.
“We’re at about 140%-144% ICU capacity today,” says Carroll. “It’s been two weeks that we’ve been over capacity at the ICU.”
Carroll says the hospital is being forced to discontinue some surgeries that require ICU and hospital beds due to the high number of COVID-19 patients.
“We’re seeing about 25% of all patients currently in the hospital have COVID,” Carroll says.
Carroll says the ICU surge is higher now than it was during last winter and many patients are younger and part of the healthier population, which he believes is being caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant.
“I’m heartbroken for the family, I’m heartbroken for our staff at these hospitals, that they have to be going through this again,” says Henderson.
Only about 40% of Southwest Utah residents are currently fully vaccinated.